Messages from Pastor Raddatz
Romans 5:6f June 14, 2020 Mount Olive Lutheran Church Houston TX
GOD’S TIMING, Help for the Hopeless
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Timing is everything. As Baseball fans wait for the opening of the professional season prospects are still working on their timing. In sports, timing can be everything. In music, a score is timed with a certain beat to a measure. Timing is important if you are baking or cooking. If you let something in the oven or on the grill to long your food can be ruined.
During this recent quarantine you may have lost a sense of time. In God’s word today in Romans Chapter 5 verse 6 we hear, “at the right time Christ died for the ungodly…” God gives help to the hopeless.
WE ARE POWERLESS WHEN IT COMES TO GETTING CLOSE TO GOD
Verse 6 can read, while we were still powerless, “You see, at just the right time Christ died for the powerless”, the apostle is addressing believers and therefore speaks of "we." However, that does not mean that Christ did what He did only for the believers. The believers are being given individual assurance. The apostle now shows what God did for man because of His great love. He shows us what God did when we were still weak, helpless, dead, ungodly, morally unworthy. "You see," introduces the explanation. "For" means "instead of" and clearly denotes the vicarious atonement. Vicarious means Christ substituted himself for us.
“Righteous man or good man?”- we are neither because we are weak! We are weak when it comes to being right with God.
Christ did not die for good people. He died instead for the hopeless.
Franzmann: We were ungodly when that love sought us out, and we did not even want God's love. 'At the right time' at the time of our utmost desperation and at the extreme of our revolt, Christ died for. WE HAVE PEACE WITH GOD, NOW AND FOREVER THROUGH JESUS!
GOD WANTS TO HELP US, BUT YOU HAVE TO REALIZE THAT YOU NEED HELP.
Not everyone wants God’s help. Seasons of pain can be a great teacher. In the month of May I had a wisdom tooth pulled. It had become infected. I also had needed a root canal. As I was sitting in the chair, shot up with pain killers, I thought how helpless I am against this problem of an infected tooth and a dead root. No amount of my action could bring about any resolution or healing. I needed to visit A DENTIST who had the skills and the ability to take care of it. Many people only seek God like I sought a Dentist, when I need help greater than I can provide.
GOD’S HELP IS HERE, AT THE RIGHT TIME
Have you ever thought about this question, “WHY DID CHRIST COME TO EARTH OVER 2,000 YEARS AGO?” Would it have been better if he came now with all our technology? This is question worth asking, but another thought process is “WHY DIDN’T HE COME SOONER?” We have always been sinful. What was God thinking?
When you have such questions it helps to look at History and most importantly, the Word of God.
History – There was a pax Romana or a roman peace in the world during the time Christ was born. Therefore the word of God could travel far and could travel in relative peace.
Word of God –God does not relate to us on our time and space sequence: in other words, God transcends time. He is over and above our time. Time to God has two dimensions: the one, we know very well, is CHRONOLOGICAL TIME. Time as a sequence with a date and a clock and a calendar. In the Bible God’s timing is referred to as KAIROS TIME: which means the occurrence when God wants to enter his creation, like at the birth of Jesus. God brought forth his son, in the fullness of time so we might no longer be slaves, but children of God who cry out abba Father, Galatians 4:4-7 summary.
CHRIST DIED FOR YOU THEREFORE YOU HAVE PEACE WITH GOD.
Verse 7 is axiomatic; in other words it provides us with a comparison: “For one will scarcely die for a righteous person though perhaps for agood person one would dare even to die- “
Lenski: To die is to make the supreme self-sacrifice, and the working implies that everybody would try to get through with less, most of them with far less, that only very, very few would have courage enough to go to the limit.
Perhaps we can distinguish "righteous" and "good" thus: the former means the just man who rarely benefits anyone, whereas the good man does good things for other people and therefore someone might dare to die in his stead if the need arises. – Buls Notes
Verse 8, reveals that our justification is a gift from God: “GOD SHOWS his love for us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” The love of God is the impelling cause of our salvation. The death of Christ is the meritorious cause. Why did God want to save us sinful people because he loves people? He takes upon himself our sin through the substitutionary crucifixion of his Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. God
REFLECTION: Were you ever helped “at just the right time”? Did it seem like you were ready to give up before the help showed up?
WE HAVE RECEIVED THIS MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION, v. 11
To be reconciled means that God is at peace with you. So now we can be at peace with each other.
A person in my neighborhood has a sign in their yard that reads something like this. FORGIVE EVERYONE FOR EVERYTHING. Now, I want you to know that when we are hurt, we can feel, “I just can’t forgive that”, or, “I will never forgive them”. This comes from the deep trauma that we have experienced. This is a true statement. We cannot forgive on our own, but through the power of God whereby we are forgiven, we can forgive. What we really are saying is that I do not trust the person. Maybe you do have to protect yourself from those who have hurt you, but in your heart, you can forgive them, because your heart has been changed by the love of God. For two people to become reunited there must be a willingness on both of their sides for confession and absolution. For there to be unity there needs to be the REBUILDING OF TRUST.
The fact regarding reconciliation is that NOT EVERYONE WANTS TO BE RECONCILED. For some the pain of acknowledging their faults and/or their contribution to a problem that occurred in their life is too great! For others they might just pick up their baggage, and all of us have figurative baggage, to another place or with a different person. What happens at this point? If we do not behave differently than before we will repeat the same faults that we had with the previous person or the last place.
SUBMIT TO GOD
God will make all things beautiful in his time, Ecclesiastes 3:11. The context is as follows:
10, I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves.11He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.
1 John 23:2, Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
Yes, timing is important in sports and in music, but God’s timing in our life is precious. May we submit to it and may we seek to be changed by his Holy Spirit, Amen.
John Raddatz, Vacancy Pastor
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